Eagle’s top cop likely leaving for Alaska, says top challenge for next chief will be retaining officers

Derek Bos says he will likely take the job following a background check

The City and Borough of Juneau has announced that Derek Bos will serve as the next chief of the Juneau Police Department, effective Feb. 1. Bos has served as the Eagle police chief since December.
Courtesy image

The Eagle Town Council bid farewell to its police chief on Tuesday as Derek Bos prepares to leave for Juneau, Alaska, after less than one year on the job.

Bos said he has received a conditional offer from the City and Borough of Juneau and is waiting on a background check. Bos said he’s not still sure how much longer he will stay on the job in Eagle, but the City and Borough of Juneau, in a press release, said his start date there will be Feb. 1.

“Chief Bos is a proven leader with the executive law enforcement skills that will serve JPD and the community well,” Juneau City Manager Katie Koester said in the release. “I look forward to welcoming Derek and his family to Juneau.”

Bos said he and his family have been to Alaska several times and it’s the only place that could have drawn him away from Colorado.

“When we moved to Eagle … before we moved, even, I told my wife the only job I will even pay attention to is Juneau, Alaska,” he said. “I’m all in with Eagle, with that one exception.”

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Bos started work in Eagle on Dec. 12, 2022, and by the summer of 2023, he had learned that former Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer was retiring.

“When it did open up, we — as a family — wrestled with it for weeks,” he said. “It was a very hard decision for our family.”

Bos said his wife and three children helped him make the decision to apply.

“We’ve been there a few times, and just fell in love right away,” he said. “It has everything Colorado has to offer, but more — hunting, fishing, kayaking, skiing, hiking, camping, all of that.”

Bos attended college in Iowa, but besides that brief stint, he has never lived anywhere but Colorado. He was born and raised in Colorado and before Eagle, he was the police chief in Brush, a farming community on Colorado’s eastern plains. Before that, Bos was with the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office.

In Brush, Bos was the subject of controversy due to a case involving the arrest and prosecution of two Brush School District administrators who were charged with multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

Bos says in Alaska, he expects to find much of the same tight-knit community bonds he found in Eagle.

“I’ll have a lot of fond memories of special events, and interacting with the community here,” he said on Wednesday. “The people here are warm and friendly and they’re grateful for what we do in law enforcement.”

For the person who will have to fill his shoes, Bos says one of the biggest challenges will be retaining officers.

“In Colorado, we definitely have a shortage of officers; we don’t have enough people to fill the openings we have, statewide,” he said. “I’m happy to say the Eagle police department is fully staffed, but I think the challenge is maintaining that and keeping the officers here.”

Bos said upon arriving in Eagle, he immediately recognized that a lack of affordable housing had created a problem when it came to filling jobs.

“Because there’s such a shortage statewide, everybody’s recruiting and the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence,” he said. “The challenge will be keeping the officers here, and keeping the department strong in that respect.”

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On Tuesday, Bos assisted in swearing in two new officers to the Eagle Police Department. Mayor Scott Turnipseed said he attended the ceremony and was impressed with Bos’ professionalism in doing so.

“The chief did a wonderful job with the whole thing,” Turnipseed said. “It really makes you realize how important that is for new officers.”

Bos said for the next police chief, whomever that may be, his biggest piece of advice will be to embrace the sense of community in Eagle.

“That commitment to each other is so deeply rooted, it’s foundational to anybody who wants to be successful in the town of Eagle,” he said.

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